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This is a guest blog by Sarah Keylock discussing her Clearing experience. 


Lat year I decided to attend a Clearing Open Day at Bournemouth – despite holding conditional offers from different universities. Why I hear you ask? Well I wanted to try to alleviate some of the stress I felt as results day approached. I was thinking a lot about Clearing after finishing my exams because I really didn’t feel all that confident about meeting the conditions of my offers. Sometimes you just have that gut feeling and I really didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

Travelling down to Bournemouth that morning for the Clearing Open Day I felt excited but honestly quite nervous too. I was worried I wouldn’t like the atmosphere and general feel of Bournemouth as much as the universities I had already chosen. That said, the minute we drove onto campus my nerves calmed and I relaxed into my seat. From the first car parking usher, to the staff at the welcome desk I was met with smiles and reassurance. Everyone was so friendly and all of my questions were attentively answered, not only with regards to the Clearing process but also about university life, accommodation and the different courses. Sometimes you can feel like you are asking basic questions that perhaps you should know but I was never made to feel that way. Instantly Bournemouth felt like a place I could imagine myself studying and living in. I really couldn’t believe I hadn’t considered it before, probably because I’d initially wanted to move a little further from home and Bournemouth was only an hour or so away, but my eyes had truly been opened.

On the day we were able to venture into town with some current students. While I had visited Bournemouth before and already knew how gorgeous the beach was, I hadn’t really explored the town centre. I started to visualise living there with it’s vibrant nightlife, quirky cafes and restaurants. I’d made up my mind that should I have to go through Clearing, Bournemouth would be an excellent choice for me.

If you are reading this and feel you could be in a similar position, worried about your results and unsure what to do, or perhaps you have only recently considered university for this year, I highly recommend you take the day to explore your options. Knowing that I had a specific university in mind as a backup plan, for results that didn’t match up with predicted grades, I had so much more peace of mind. When I did eventually use Clearing, it was so useful to know I was still going somewhere I wanted to and not just somewhere I’d picked at random in a panic. Of course, there was the initial wave of disappointment when I opened UCAS on results morning but having that backup plan helped prevent me from freaking out. And I’m now so glad I came to Bournemouth; the student life is everything I wanted from university, and my course is perfect for me.

I honestly think now if I could choose between going to my first-choice university or going to Bournemouth, I’d select Bournemouth. Best of luck people!

Book onto an Clearing Open Day now: www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/meet-us/open-days-tours 

Dates include:

  • Wednesday 1 August
  • Friday 17 August
  • Saturday 18 August
  • Wednesday 22 August

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